Christopher Hoolihan in Miner Library holding open a very large, old book

Christopher Hoolihan (2022)

Christopher Hoolihan, librarian emeritus of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Edward G. Miner Library at the University of Rochester Medical Center, spent 42 years working with collections on the history of medicine.

Hoolihan’s love for his work seemingly knows no bounds. Case in point, he officially retired from the University of Rochester on a Friday in June 2019, and the on following Monday, he was back in Miner Library as a volunteer.

Hoolihan joined Miner Library’s team in 1985. During his tenure, Hoolihan worked diligently to make Miner’s collection accessible and known to the world, cataloging more than 26,000 titles. He was also dedicated to patrons, responding to more than 34,500 requests for materials in the rare book and archival collections. And he published extensively and, for years, served as an integral guest lecturer on the history of medicine in courses on medical humanities, history, and medical illustration.

In his decades of service, Hoolihan distinguished himself as a bibliographer, archivist, medical historian, art historian, and print historian.

“I thought the decision to give him the award was so appropriate,” says Barabra Guhde, co-president of FURL, “because this is the kind of person every institution would do anything to have on their team.”

Read more about Christopher Hoolihan

Photo of Mary Ann Mavrinac standing in a grey blazer and orange shirt

Mary Ann Mavrinac (2021)

Mary Ann Mavrinac is the vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Emeritus Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries. She joined the University in June 2012 and served until her retirement in January 2022.

Mary Ann’s tenure began with the initiation of the Rush Rhees Library Revitalization Project, a 10-year strategic facilities master plan, and a five-year strategic plan to transform the River Campus Libraries into a collaborative hub for innovation. These initiatives resulted in the creation of Evans Lam Square, Barbara J. Burger iZone, and Mary Ann Mavrinac Studio X (named in her honor). Mary Ann also oversaw significant refresh projects for Gleason Library and the first floor of Carlson Science and Engineering, as well providing the path for the development of the Humanities Center and renovation and consolidation of the Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program. 

Beyond the capital projects, Mary Ann supported and enhanced Rochester’s research enterprise, which included overseeing work in data management, research intelligence, digital scholarship, digital preservation, and sustainable scholarship, including open access and open educational resources. She also collaborated with faculty, resulting in projects like the Seward Family Archive Project.

In some of her final years, Mary Ann helped realize the Carol ’74, Pʼ11 and Sarah ’11 Karp Library Fellows Program, the acquisition of the Louise M. Slaughter Congressional and Family Papers, and a collaborative exhibition with the Memorial Art Gallery, Up Against the Wall: AIDS, Activism, and the AIDS Poster.

Mary Ann represented the University among its peers through the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Board from 2013 to 2019. She was also the first person from the University to serve as ARL president (2018).

Carol Karp

Carol Karp (2020)

Carol Karp ’74, P’11 has supported the River Campus Libraries for almost a decade, in addition to her other noteworthy roles at the University, including being a member of the Board of Trustees since 2011, including being named vice-chair in 2021. Throughout her university volunteer activities, Carol has been an influencer, supporter, provider of wise council, and donor to the River Campus Libraries. She has been generous with her time, hosting and speaking at several library events and advocating for the libraries with clarity and purpose, always interested in the needs of students and their intersection with the libraries.

In 2013, Carol accepted the River Campus Libraries’ invitation to join the Libraries Advisory Council. When this council transitioned to become a National Council for the University, Carol became the chair, a role she continued to hold through 2021. In 2019, Carol advocated for the expansion of the National Council to become the University Libraries National Council, and she led the Council through University Advancement’s Volunteer Library Task Force process. Carol’s able leadership, the advice she has given, and the perspective she holds as an alum and Board Member, have been incredibly important to the libraries and its strategy.

Carol and her family have philanthropically supported the libraries for several years through the George Eastman Circle, and more recently, in providing a 10-year commitment to support experiential learning and leadership opportunities for student employees. Called the Carol Karp ’74 and Sarah Karp ’11 Endowed Library Fellows Fund, this fund enables undergraduate students to lead projects in support of iZone, Studio X and other experiential learning opportunities, with a focus on collaboration, creative thinking, and leadership that translates into career readiness.

Carol has been a quiet, effective, and influential leader for the River Campus Libraries. Her impact is sustained and sustaining.

Evans Lam

Evans Lam (2019)

Evans graduated with a B.A. in economics magna cum laude in 1983 followed by an M.B.A. from the Simon Business School in 1984.  Evans remains closely connected to the University as an advisor, leader, and philanthropist, serving on the Simon National Council and on the Simon Executive Advisory Committee, a member of the University’s Los Angeles Regional Cabinet, a UR Trustee, and a co-chair of the George Eastman Circle. In light of his strong support for the River Campus Libraries, last year, he was named an honorary member of the River Campus Libraries National Council. 

Russell Peck

Russell Peck (2018)

Professor Peck has had an immeasurable impact on library collections, programs, and services over many years.

Thirty years ago, Professor Peck negotiated the acquisition of the Robbins Library. He acted as an intermediary between Rossell Hope Robbins and Helen Ann Robbins and the University and Library administrations, who were evidently, reluctant to accept the collection and the Robbins library, writ large, given the then current resources, such as time, space and staff.  Professor Peck was successful in negotiating this, evidenced by the Robbins Library being located in Rush Rhees Library, which is a thriving hub of medieval scholarship known to medievalists around the globe.

Professor Peck has contributed immeasurably to the scholarly life of the Robbins Library through his initiation of the practice of having students complete internships using the collections in Robbins or Rare Books and Special Collections, many of which he directed. His recognition of the vital role of the library in participating in and enhancing student learning has not only helped to enhance the library's reputation but has enriched the experience of the student interns.

Since the Fall 2013, Professor Peck has been a member of the Friends of the University of Rochester (FURL) Libraries Executive Committee where he has infused the FURL with ideas such as using his annual Theatre London trip as a means to channel funds to FURL, which in turn, are available for grants to each of the main libraries which comprise the University of Rochester. These funds have been used to enhance collections, services, and programs, not to mention the good will that the Theatre London trip engenders for the libraries.

Alan Lupack

Alan Lupack (2017)

Dr. Alan Lupack served for 27 years as Director of the Rossell Hope Robbins Library and the Koller-Collins Graduate English Center in Rush Rhees Library.  He devoted  his professional life to the creation of the Robbins Library through the development of an outstanding collection of materials on medieval studies compared in quality to those of Yale and Harvard, an internationally recognized scholarly community both physically and virtually, contributions to scholarship, in particular in relation to Arthurian studies, and through his teaching, guidance and mentoring of graduate students.  He is one of the world’s foremost Arthurian scholars and collectors. 

In the 1990’s Dr. Lupack was an early adopter of digital technologies to begin what is now known as Robbins Digital Projects comprised of the Camelot Project, the Robin Hood Project, The Crusades Project, Visualizing Chaucer, and the Cinderella Bibliography.  The Camelot Project was cited by the New York Times as the premier database of Arthurian material.

In addition to his role as director, Dr. Lupack was an Adjunct Professor of English at the UofR where he taught courses, served as Director of Master’s Theses, and member of the Master’s Committee and PhD Examination Committees.  He also fostered scholarly discourse and shone a light on the Robbins Library by hosting regular guest speakers from other universities and by supporting the Undergraduate Medieval Society’s scholarly activities.

Dr. Lupack has devoted his professional and scholarly life to the Robbins Library/Koller-Colllins Center and it is a testament to this devotion that he is responsible for the local esteem and international recognition this library has garnered.  He has also played a significant role in the success of graduate students in medieval studies through his mentorship, guidance, and generosity.  He has played the dual role of scholar-practitioner with high standards and a commitment to excellence and the University of Rochester has benefited from his scholarly and professional contributions.   

Harold Kanthor

Harold Kanthor (2016)

As a longtime member of the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries, Dr. Harold Kanthor has held many positions on the Executive Board, serving as chair of the Annual Book Fair Committee, Graduate Student Dissertation Award Committee and currently as chair of both the Distributions Committee and the Student Book Collecting Award Committee.

He is an avid collector of Gilbert and Sullivan memorabilia, with a concentration on nineteenth century material, and enjoys researching unique items in the collection and publishing articles about them.  He has generously begun to donate portions of the collection to the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries.

Dr. Kanthor is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the URMC and has been a practicing pediatrician for 41 years with a special interest in working with children with attentional and learning differences.

Dr. Kanthor has also served the community in many capacities, chairing the Committee on Children with Disabilities of the American Academy of Pediatrics Upstate New York Chapter for 40 years, as well as chairing the 1999 New York State Health Department Panel on Autism Clinical Practice Guidelines.

James Mayer

James W. Mayer (2015)

Jim Mayer '82, a longtime supporter of the River Campus Libraries, is a former chair of the Libraries Advisory Council, was a member of the Libraries Campaign Committee, and currently serves as a member of the River Campus Libraries National Council.

In 2015, his gift established the River Campus Libraries Learning Spaces Fund, a foundation of support for projects that will enable the continual development of the RCL’s spaces and materials. 

To read more about Mayer and his contributions to the River Campus Libraries, click here.

Lucretia McClure

Lucretia McClure (2014)

Lucretia, the sixth director of the Edward G. Miner Library, served in a variety of positions from 1964 until her retirement from the University of Rochester in 1993. In nearly thirty years, she served as mentor to countless university librarians and oversaw a major renovation and expansion of the Miner Library to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technology.

After retirement from the University, Lucretia took a position in rare books for the collections at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University. She held this position for a seventeen year term.

In 2010 Lucretia retired from the Countway Library, and volunteered at the Edward G. Miner Library. Currently she is librarian at Valley Manor, a member of the Friends of the University of Rochester Executive Committee, and chair of the Board of Trustees of the Rochester Regional Library Council.

Lucretia has received many professional awards including one from the Medical Library Association which is named for her: the Lucretia McClure Award for Excellence in Education. She also received the Marcia C. Noyes Award, the highest award the Medical Library Association presents.


Anne T. Pelletier (2013)

Anne Pelletier, a New York City resident, is a former Rochester native with close family still living in the area.  She is a graduate of Syracuse University and Columbia University where she received her MFA in writing. She is an author, whose articles have appeared in publications such as Brooklyn Rail and Sleepingfish.

Anne is a generous and avid supporter of the River Campus Libraries through her Foundation.  She is a sustaining member of the University of Rochester's George Eastman Circle, former Libraries Advisory Council member, and former member of the Parents Council.  Her son, William, is a 2011 graduate of the University of Rochester.

Karl Kabelac

Karl Sanford Kabelac (2012)

If you had a research project anytime between1968 and 1998, and your sources were located in the Rush Rhees Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections Department, you have probably worked with the 2012 Metzdorf Prize Award winner, Karl Kabelac.

Karl has been, and even in retirement still is, the fount of historical information on New York State, the Greater Rochester Area, and the University of Rochester. Karl arrived at the Department of Rare Books in Rush Rhees Library in 1968 after receiving degrees from Syracuse University (BA and MLS), and a second Master’s degree from the New York State Historical Association/New York State University at Cooperstown (NY).

As a manuscript librarian, Karl has been acknowledged by many authors and researchers for his expertise and knowledge of the holdings of the rare books and archival collections. He is the author of many articles pertaining to the history of the Greater Rochester Area and the University of Rochester.  His recall of historical dates and data and his efficient searching of the collections from memory are next to none.

In 1998, Karl established and endowed a fund, “Karl’s Fund for the Staff of the River Campus Libraries,” to support staff development and social activities within the River Campus Libraries.  Since its inception, Karl’s Fund has purchased materials for library assistants to further their library careers, who ultimately received their Master of Library Science or Master of Library and Information Science degrees.  Karl’s Fund also has supported many library staff social activities within the River Campus Libraries.

Karl exemplifies the Metzdorf Award of “contributions and meritorious service to the University of Rochester Libraries” but his contributions and service don’t stop at the Rush Rhees Library steps. In 2008, he received, with Mary Huth (who, at that time, was the Rare Books Manuscript Librarian), the Landmark Society’s Special Citation Award in recognition of their many years of advocacy regarding local history and architecture, particularly in regards to the University’s collection of architectural drawings and documents.

Denise Bolger Kovnat, interviewed Karl for the Winter 1997-98 edition of Rochester Review, the University of Rochester’s alumni publication.  Denise is quoted:

“That’s why, for so many years, [Karl] has tended the stacks of memory—collecting, organizing, retrieving what people need, fulfilling the dual, often contradictory, tasks of the archivist: making rare books and papers available, and preserving them for future use.”

Seymour Schwartz

Seymour I. Schwartz, MD (2011)

Seymour I. Schwartz, Distinguished Alumni Professor of Surgery at the University of Rochester's School of Medicine and Dentistry, began his relationship with the University at the School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1957 as a surgical resident, and continued as a member of the faculty for over 50 years. Dr. Schwartz served as National Consultant for Surgery in the U.S. Air Force, the Board of the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress. He is also a member of the American Antiquarian Society and the Grolier Club.

Dr. Schwartz received honorary PhDs in 2000 from the University of Lund, Sweden, the University of Madrid, and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from his Alma Mater, the University of Wisconsin. In 2005, Dr. Schwartz received the Medal of Honor, bestowed upon him by King Juan Carlos of Spain.

In June 2009, Dr. Schwartz was the guest speaker at the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries' Annual Meeting and Dinner. His topic, "Scalpel and Scripture," was based on his 2009 publication Gifted Hands: America's Most Significant Contributions to Surgery. In November 2010, Dr. Schwartz was honored, and his wife, Dr. Ruth Schwartz, was honored posthumously, for a generous contribution of Western New York State historical maps, "The Drs. Ruth W. and Seymour I. Schwartz Collection." This valuable collection was given to the Rare Books and Special Collections Department of Rush Rhees Library, and items from the Collection were on exhibition, "Charting Western New York," for six months.

Dr. Schwartz has authored the definitive cartographical and historical reference work, The Mapping of America. He has edited seven editions of the most popular surgical text, Principles of Surgery, authored seven books, authored approximately 300 scientific articles, edited several journals, given distinguished named lectures around the world, and is active in many medical and surgical professional organizations.

Judith Kharbas

Judith N. Kharbas (2010)

Judith Nientimp Kharbas began her career at the River Campus Libraries in 1962 as a government documents librarian in Rush Rhees Library's Acquisitions Department. During the next 35 years, Judith served the River Campus Libraries in various capacities: as Head of the Information Systems Department, Head of the Serials and Binding Department, Head of Technical Services Division, Assistant Director of Libraries for Technical Services, Acting Director of University Libraries, and retired in 1997 as Assistant Dean for River Campus Libraries for Technical Services.

Judith has been an active member of the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries since 1990. In 1998, Judith assumed the responsibilities of the Friends' book sale serving as the coordinator for the used book booth at the Friends' Book Fair, and currently serves as the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries' Executive Committee Chair of the Book Sale. She served as Treasurer for the Friends Executive Committee from 2002-2004. In 2004, Judith initiated the Friends' Internet Book Sale in conjunction with the Rundel Library Foundation to sell donated books of value on-line through This program has proven to be a very successful venture for the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries.


Catherine B. Carlson (2009)  

In June 2009, Catherine Carlson was presented with the Metzdorf Award in recognition of her dedication to and generous support of the River Campus Libraries and the University of Rochester. 

Catherine Carlson and her mother, Dorris, were the benefactors for the creation of the Chester F. Carlson Science and Engineering Library, which has become a popular gathering place for the University of Rochester's science undergraduate and graduate students as a source of research and a place for group and individual study.

Catherine was also instrumental in the renovation of a Rush Rhees Library public area which became the Hawkins-Carlson room. This room is one of the loveliest in the Rush Rhees Library and is used for visiting speakers, special gatherings, and important meetings. It is named for Chester Carlson, the inventor of Xerography, and his mother, Ellen Hawkins Carlson. Catherine generously provided beautiful oil paintings of Chester Carlson and Ellen Hawkins Carlson which are prominently displayed in the Hawkins-Carlson room.

The University of Rochester has also benefited from Catherine's many interests through her generous support of the College, Memorial Art Gallery, Eastman School of Music, Medical Center, and the recent renovation of the Eastman Theatre.

Roger Friedlander

Roger Friedlander (2008)

Rogert B. Friedlander, alumnus and prominent member of the Rochester business community, received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University. In 1970, he co-founded Spectrum Office Products, a company that quickly grew into one of the largest office-supply businesses in the Northeast. After his successful career, Roger came back to the University as a Trustee and turned some of his attention to the library. His contributions to Rush Rhees restored the ever-popular Welles-Brown Room to its original elegance and brought the Library's main entranceway to a similar condition.

Friedlander clearly understood the power of first impressions. Prior to his investment, the Rush Rhees lobby did not announce the centrality of the library to the University and the academic lives of its students. Roger's time and resources changed the ways that students and faculty think about the libraries and, indeed, how they think about themselves. The changes also influenced donors who were to follow; his initiative made it possible for others to envision the impact they too could make on the academic community by investing in the library.

Joyce M. Melissinos

Joyce M. Melissinos (2007)

Joyce Mitchell Melissinos graduated with honors in English literature from Mount Holyoke College and also graduated from the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration. After her graduate work at Radcliffe, she spent two years at Vassar College as the Assistant to the Director of Field Work.

She came to Rochester when she married a member of the faculty in the University's Department of Physics. She received both an M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Rochester, taught for several years in the Liberal Arts College of the Rochester Institute of Technology, and contributed papers in her field of eighteenth-century literature to meetings of the Northeast American and East Central American Societies for Eighteenth Century Studies.

Joyce has also contributed much time to several community organizations including the Rochester Association for the United Nations, which she served a President; the Rochester Committee for the American Farm School in northern Greece, of which she was Chairman; and Young Audiences of Rochester, which she served as President. She was also elected to the National Board of Young Audiences in New York and served on it for eighteen years. She co-chaired two Board committees and received an award for contributions on the national level at the Houston Conference in 1981.

During Joyce's four-year Presidency of the Friends of the Libraries (2002-2007), the Friends expanded its program for members, augmented the structure of the Executive Committee, developed new materials for the annual appeal, and began a newsletter to give members as well as the community a better understanding of the contributions of the Friends. In making the 2007 award, the Metzdorf and Executive Committees considered her work to be exemplary and of the highest importance to the future of the Friends.

Martin Edward Messinger

Martin Edward Messinger (2006)

Martin E. Messinger, an economics major in the Class of 1949, was awarded the Metzdorf Award at a special luncheon hosted by the Friends of the Libraries in the Hawkins-Carlson room of Rush Rhees Library. Mr. Messinger is a dedicated supporter of the University through his interests in the Eastman School of Music, the Rush Rhees Library, the Jewish Studies program, and the University's debate team.

Raised in Irondequoit, NY, he has many ties to the Rochester community, which led him to establish a permanent endowment at the Rochester Area Community Foundation to support worthy endeavors in the Rochester community.

Mr. Messinger has been a University Board of Trustees member since 1990 and a member of the Eastman School of Music's Board of Managers since 1998. His generosity to the University enabled Rush Rhees Library to renovate the former Periodical Reading Room and to rename it in his honor in October 1998, the Martin E. Messinger Periodical Reading Room. Messinger Hall, the new home for the Eastman Community Music School at 10 Gibbs Street, was dedicated through his support in October 2005 to the memory of his mother, Anne Waltuck Messinger, for her love of music.

Mr. Messinger received the Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal, the highest honor given to an alumnus in recognition of outstanding achievements and service to community, state, or nation at the University's 2006 Commencement Ceremony. He is a senior trustee for the University, and a managing partner of the New York City investment firm of Neuberger & Berman. He established the Messinger Family Foundation in 1988 to focus on higher education, health, medical service, and other issues in New York State.

John W. and E. Pauline Handy

John W. “Jack” and E. Pauline Handy (2005)

When presenting the Robert F. Metzdorf Award to the Handys, president emeritus Robert Sproull said, “Jack and Diddy Handy have been extraordinary, in the truest sense of the word, steadfast supporters of the River Campus Libraries. The Handys are always gracious and thoughtful in suggesting new ideas or concepts that might be of benefit to the University Libraries. Jack has also offered his services as ‘volunteer,’ approaching other potential donors on our behalf.”

The Handys are both alumni of the University, and Mr. Handy is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School and a retiree of Kodak, where he served last as Director of the Engineering Division. As an alumnus, Mr. Handy was Chairman of the Class of ’44 Reunion Committee, on the Board of Governors of the Alumni Federation, and a frequent volunteer for many other alumni functions. In 1990, the Handys were presented with a University of Rochester Associates Life Membership Award. Mr. Handy served on the Libraries Advisory Council, lending his sage advice to the Library’s advantage. The Handys are longstanding members of the Friends of the Library.

The Handys generously established the John W. and E. Pauline Handy Book Fund to support new teaching initiatives and address identified weaknesses in the collections. Planned gifts from the Handys will support the Koller Scholarship Fund, establish an endowed fund for the Koller-Collins Library, and establish an endowment for the Carlson Science and Engineering Library.

Elizabeth G. Holahan

Elizabeth G. Holahan (2004)

The Metzdorf Award was awarded to Elizabeth G. Holahan posthumously. Her niece, Diane Grosso, accepted the award on the family’s behalf. Miss Holahan was one of the original councilors of the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries when it was formed in 1972.

In 1978, Miss Holahan was awarded the tenth University Associates Medal for outstanding services to the University of Rochester, and for many years gave her advice and assistance to the Memorial Art Gallery as a voluntary consultant.

Miss Holahan was an expert on American restorations and served as president of the Society for the Preservation of Landmarks in Western New York. She was chief planner and coordinator of the 1964-65 restoration of the historic Patrick Barry House on Mt. Hope Avenue, at that time the official residence of the president of the University. Miss Holahan was lauded as “a tireless and skillful worker on behalf of community efforts to preserve and enhance our inheritance of books, manuscripts, and drawings, as well as of buildings and monuments.”

John M. and Barbara Keil

John M. “Jack” and Barbara Keil (2003)

The Friends of the Libraries awarded the Metzdorf Award in 2003 to John M. “Jack” and Barbara Keil to thank them for their dedication and support of the River Campus Libraries over the years. In 1999, Jack and his close friend, Andrew H. Neilly, made a gift to the Rush Rhees Library to establish the Neilly-Keil Research Center in Rare Books and Special Collections.

In 2002, the Keils established a Library endowment to support The John M. and Barbara Keil University Archivist and Rochester Collections Librarian. Income from this endowment will be used to purchase and maintain documents and other materials related to the history and life of the University and the Rochester community.

Jack, a 1944 alumnus and a native of Rochester, spent 40 years as an advertising executive before he retired in 1987. One of his most successful campaigns was his creation of the National Crime Prevention Council’s spokesman, McGruff, the Crime Dog. Putting his theatrical talent to good use, Mr. Keil became the voice of McGruff. He now paints fulltime and has exhibited his work at galleries in New York and New England. He is a Life Trustee of the University and was co-chair of the Libraries’ Advisory Council for several years.

Mrs. Keil has a master’s degree in social work and founded the Rockland Family Resource Center in Nyack, NY. Though not a graduate of Rochester, she has adopted the University and is a steadfast supporter of the River Campus Libraries.

Andrew and Janet Neilly

Andrew and Janet Neilly (2002)

The University of Rochester’s Libraries have been the focus of Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly for many years. To honor the Neillys for their long and generous support to the Libraries, the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries awarded the Metzdorf Award to the Neillys in 2002.

A graduate of the University of Rochester Class of 1947, Mr. Neilly had a distinguished career in publishing, serving as President, CEO, and Vice-Chairman of the Board of John Wiley & Sons in New York City until his retirement in 1995.

Though both Neillys both grew up in Rochester, Janet Neilly attended William Smith College and Northwestern University. In Connecticut, Janet has been active in community affairs, serving on the Weston Board of Education and founding Connecticut Hospice.

In 1999, Mr. Neilly and his close friend, Jack Keil, made a gift to the Rush Rhees Library that established the Neilly-Keil Research Center in Rare Books and Special Collections.

In 2000, Mr. and Mrs. Neilly endowed the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries. The endowment is used to enhance library collections related to the academic programs in the College and support library initiatives such as lectures and seminars that add to the intellectual life of the University and the Rochester community.

Mr. Neilly is a Life Trustee of the University and has served as co-chair of the Libraries’ Advisory Council. During the Campaign for the ‘90s, Mr. Neilly and his co-chair, Jack Keil, raised a total of $10 million in support of the Libraries. Mr. Neilly is still thought of as the Libraries’ “volunteer-in-chief.”

In 1989, Mr. Neilly enrolled at the Silvermine School of Art in New Canaan, CT, studying watercolor and oils. He has participated in many group shows in Connecticut, New York, and Maine. His work includes landscapes painted on his travels, and, a special interest, steam locomotives and trains.

Janis F. Gleason

Janis F. Gleason (2001)

Janis F. Gleason was awarded the Metzdorf Award in recognition for her generous support to Rush Rhees Library and her continued support of the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries.

Janis Gleason is a staunch supporter of literary arts at the Library and other organizations in the Rochester community. Janis and her husband, James S. Gleason, provided substantial support toward the creation of the very popular Gleason Library in the Rush Rhees Library, which created a Teaching and Learning Center and facilitates access to the Library.

Janis is a director of the Gleason Foundation, which in 2000 made a grant to the University for a new building at the Simon School, named the James S. Gleason Hall, and made available funds to remodel the Great Hall of Rush Rhees Library. Mrs. Gleason authored a biography of Kate Gleason, James Gleason’s great-aunt, an advocate of women’s rights and a noted businesswoman.

Mari Ostendorf Wells

Mari Ostendorf Wells (2000)

Mari Ostendorf Wells, a 1950 alumna of the University, is a longtime, devoted supporter of the Libraries and a dedicated volunteer for countless Friends’ projects, particularly the Annual Book Fair. She joined the Friends in 1974 and served as a member of the Friends’ Council from 1976 until 1979. She was then elected vice-president, and she served as president of the Friends from 1980 to 1982. During her tenure, the Friends published Henry Clune’s best-selling autobiography I Always Liked It Here.

Mrs. Wells served on the University’s Trustees’ Council from 1969 to 1975, after which she was named an honorary member. In 1982, she presented the commemorative Two Millionth Volume, Thomas More’s 1557 Folio, to Rush Rhees Library in memory of her parents, Otto and Ruth Ostendorf. In 1999, the reference desk in Rare Books and Special Collections was named the Mari Ostendorf Wells and Lyndon H. Wells, Jr. Research Center Reference Desk in honor of “their generous support for the acquisition of the William and Hannelore Heyen collection and for their long-time support of and devotion to the University of Rochester and its libraries.”

Howard Merritt

Howard Merritt (1999)

Prior to his death in 2007, Dr. Howard C. Merritt was Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University and a long-time Friend of the Libraries. During much of his retirement, he sorted and priced, almost single-handedly, thousands of books donated to the Friends’ Annual Book Sale. Through his hard work, the Friends realized thousands of dollars in book sales.

Professor Merritt joined the University faculty in 1946 after completing his undergraduate work at Oberlin and his graduate work at Princeton. He was a member of the Department of Art History until his retirement in 1980, and an authority on the Hudson River School artist, Thomas Cole. Mr. Merritt and his wife, Florence, were active antiquarian book and ephemera collectors and dealers.

Bill Johnson

James William “Bill” Johnson (1998)

Bill Johnson was a founding member of the Friends in 1972, and he later served as President of the Friends of the University Libraries from 1991 to 1994. The members of the Metzdorf nominating committee in 1998 noted, “as President, Bill brought vitality to the Friends. He served the members with energy and enthusiasm and was in every way a dedicated leader.” For many years he was the auctioneer at the Friends’ Annual Book Sale.

Bill Johnson came to the University in 1955, after receiving his B.A. from Birmingham-Southern College in 1950, an M.A. at Harvard, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1954. Before arriving at Rochester, he spent a year at University College, London, as a Fulbright scholar. In 1964, he became a full professor in the English department.

During his tenure at the University, Dr. Johnson taught 18th century literature, modern drama, southern literature (including an immensely popular Faulkner class), literary criticism, and Hollywood cinema. Bill was before his time, teaching courses on gender and on film long before it was fashionable to do so. He was one of the founding members of the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Studies, published many scholarly articles, and authored a freshman composition textbook. In 1970, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, and in 1989, he became the University Orator. He retired from the University in 1998.

Bill Johnson’s roles included “Voice of the University” on WXXI radio, trustee of the Landmark Society, and dedicated advocate for culture and the arts, including his research on Lord Rochester. In 2004, The University of Rochester Press published A Profane Wit: The Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, as a result of his research.

Susan and Bernard Schilling

Susan and Bernard Schilling (1997)

Prior to his death in 2001, Bernard Schilling and his wife, Susan who died in 2008, were ardent supporters of the Libraries and the Friends of the Libraries. Professor Schilling had a key role in the establishment of the Friends in 1972, and Mrs. Schilling was president from 1985 to 1987. In addition to their many contributions to the Libraries, the Schillings were a major force in the life of the University.

Mr. Schilling served as the John B. Trevor Professor of English and Comparative Literature after joining the Rochester faculty in 1947 as an associate professor of English. From 1952 to 1962, he was director of graduate studies for English and was instrumental in the development of the graduate studies program at the University. He was chairman of the Department of Foreign and Comparative Literature from 1967-1971. In addition, he was the University Orator, who composed hundreds of honorary degree citations and other addresses on special institutional occasions.

Mrs. Schilling, after receiving degrees from Mount Holyoke and Harvard, joined the staff of the Memorial Art Gallery as Director of Education in the 1940s. She served in this and other capacities at the Gallery for more than 30 years.

The Schillings were one of the first families in Brighton, NY, to have their historic home designated a local landmark. They were deeply committed to Brighton and supported the creation of Deerfield Woods, an affordable housing project for low-moderate income families. In recognition of their contributions, the town named Schilling Lane in their honor.

Wallace Gray

Wallace Gray (1996)

During his tenure at the Eastman School of Music, Wallace Gray established scholarships in honor of his parents, Grace and Robert Gray, as well as Harold Schwab. He also established the Wallace R. Gray Scholarship in Church Music. After he donated his extensive music library of organ, piano, and chamber music to the Sibley Music Library, an endowment was established in his name to complement the Gray donation and support the church music collection. To honor his dedication to the Eastman School and his extraordinary generosity, Professor Gray was awarded the Metzdorf Award in 1996.

Wallace Gray received a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1941 and a master of music degree in 1954. He was appointed to the piano faculty at the Eastman School in 1941. After a hiatus spent in the military, he rejoined the Eastman School faculty in 1945. Professor Gray held a variety of teaching and administrative positions at Eastman before his retirement in 1976. After his retirement, he served as consultant to the Eastman School’s director, Robert Freeman, and to the development office fundraising efforts.

Edward Atwater

Edward Atwater (1995)

Dr. Atwater received the Metzdorf Award in recognition of his involvement in the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries and the Edward G. Miner Medical Library.

An original and life member of the Friends, he served for many years on the Program Committee and the Annual Book Fair Committee. Long a collector, he has a special interest is old medical books. In 1994, he gave the University a collection of books, pamphlets and broadsides dealing with American popular medicine and health reform. The collection, house at the Miner Library, includes 5,000 publications addressed to lay readers, written by professional and nonprofessional authors, to instruct or promote all manner of health issues, ranging from the best advice available to the most outrageous quackery. A two-volume-set annotated catalogue of this collection was prepared and published by Christopher Hoolihan (2001, 2004). A supplemental volume including about 2,600 additional titles appeared in 2008. Publication of the original catalogue was made possible by supporting grants from the Friends of the Libraries, the Gleason Foundation, and the Lamont Fund.

Edward Atwater was born and raised in western New York. An undergraduate major in history at the University of Rochester, he received a medical degree from Harvard, and later did graduate work in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins. He practiced medicine and taught at the University of Rochester Medical School for 37 years, where he is presently Emeritus Professor of Medicine. His professional publications include both medical and historical subjects.

Alan Heyneman

Alan Heyneman (1994)

The Metzdorf Award was awarded to Alan Heyneman posthumously and accepted by his wife, Martha Tarpey Heyneman. During his tenure at the University, he was an energetic and steadfast supporter of the Friends of the University of Rochester.

Alan Heyneman was born in San Francisco and served in the U.S. Army in North Africa and Europe during World War II. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1948 and Berkeley’s School of Librarianship in 1949. He became chief personnel officer for the New York Public Library in 1955, after six years in administrative positions at the Library of Congress. He joined the University of Rochester in 1964 as director of personnel. In 1973, he was promoted to associate treasurer for administration, and, in 1983, he was named associate vice president for administration. He retired in 1989.

Sarah Collins


Rowland Collins

Sarah and Rowland Collins (1993)

The Metzdorf Award was presented to Sarah and, posthumously, to Rowland Collins for their long-time interest and generous support to the Libraries. The Rowland L. Collins Book Fund in Rush Rhees Library was established to honor Professor Collins from gifts made by family, friends, and colleagues at the time of his death in 1985. The Fund supports the acquisition of books and manuscripts relating to the Victorian period of English literature.

Rowland Collins received a bachelor's degree with honors from Princeton University in 1956, and a master's degree and doctorate from Stanford University in 1959 and 1961. He came to the University of Rochester in 1967 and served as the Chairman of the English Department from 1972 to 1981. He was an internationally known authority on Anglo-Saxon literature and the Victorian period and published numerous articles on both subjects. Dr. Collins was instrumental in the establishment of the Koller-Collins Center for English Studies in Rush Rhees Library.

Sarah Collins received her undergraduate degree at Centre College in Danville, KY, and a doctorate from Indiana University. She taught at Centre College while she was writing her dissertation on Elizabeth Elstob, an eighteenth-century Anglo-Saxon scholar. Sarah received the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching for 1982-83 at Rochester Institute of Technology, and was active in the Friends of Eastman [School] Opera. Sarah and Rowland spearheaded the formation of the Friends of Mt. Hope [Cemetery] in 1979 and were leading figures in landmark preservation in Rochester.